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Last year, the preseason over-under number for victories that was assigned by Las Vegas to the Iowa Hawkeyes was 5.5.
They cleared that with room to spare in an 8-win season. But last summer, it wasn’t a slam-dunk of a bet. They never are.
This week, CG Technology (which operates eight race and sports books in Las Vegas casinos) posted its 2014 over-unders for Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC teams.
Its number for Iowa is ... 8.5.
Its number for Iowa State is ... 3.5.
What do you think? Here’s what I think: Take Iowa and the over. Just don’t put money on it, because these seasons seldom play out the way we think they will.
That said, if you were setting lines on all 12 of Iowa’s games right now and doing so with objectivity, is there one in which the Hawkeyes would be underdogs?
I’m not sure there is, though there would be at least five games that today would be close to coin-flips in oddsmakers’ eyes.
Those are games at Pittsburgh, at Maryland, at Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Iowa would be a solid favorite at home against Northern Iowa, Ball State, Iowa State, Indiana and Northwestern, as well as at Purdue and Illinois.
It’s been mentioned a few times: This isn’t Iowa’s saltiest schedule. But this will be mentioned a few times, too, especially by Kirk Ferentz: There isn’t a game on that schedule you can take for granted. None.
UNI is good. Ball State is good. Iowa State has been known to beat Iowa. Road games can be menacing even against the likes of Purdue, though last season was certainly no proof of that.
But there’s three months to get into all that. As for now, here are those over-unders for the rest of the Big Ten and Big 12:
Ohio State 10.5
Michigan State 9.5
Penn State 8
Kansas State 8
Oklahoma State 7.5
Texas Tech 7
West Virginia 4.5
What are the best bets on the board, over or under. There is a comments box here.